Being here, among so many Falun Dafa practitioners is really an honour and a precious occasion. I deeply thank the founder of Falun Gong, Master Li, for this opportunity to share and strengthen our diamond determination in the Fa. (Fa – Law or Principle, the teachings in Falun Gong)
My name is Natalia and I´m 22 years old. I came from the countryside of Argentina, but I came across Falun Gong in Great Britain with my brother and partner, more than a year ago.
After finding Falun Dafa in Britain I had a few peaceful months during which I spent a lot of time studying the Fa. But I knew little about the tireless activities so many practitioners do around the world to reveal the facts of the persecution and to let more people have a chance to come to practise Falun Dafa. I couldn’t see the tremendous effort that some put in to help save people.
I received an e-mail from my mother in Argentina saying that she had met some Falun Gong practitioners in a book fare in Cordoba, Argentina, and that they told her that I had to go to Peru´s Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference on the 14th of November, stressing that it was very important. I contacted this practitioner and he also mentioned me to go to Chile for the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation, as Chinese politicians would be meeting there and it was a good opportunity to clarify the truth to them. Well, I didn’t think much and bought the flight, it was in my plans to go to Argentina anyway. I did not know any practitioner in South America, but I knew in my heart that this was the beginning of a mission, maybe one that had been arranged for me long ago.
Falun Dafa has changed my life in every tiny aspect, and now I know that there is no way I could return to how I was before, I am finally walking the righteous path and I feel so privileged to have Dafa (Great Law, the same Dafa as in Falun Dafa) with me to guide me, in this deviated world, towards righteousness, goodness and perfection. I know that the more I assimilate to the Fa, the more responsibility I have, they are directly linked.
I´d like to share with you some of the experiences I’ve had, and a bit of the situation of Falun Dafa in Argentina.
I have been in Argentina helping practitioners for the last 7 months, but it feels as if I had been cultivating myself there for hundreds of years...
When I arrived in Argentina I firstly met with practitioners from Buenos Aires. There are always many activities to do there as there are so little practitioners, but I was amazed about the amount of projects they had. One thing that i did notice was the difficulty of organising things, this is something we should cultivate. If only there where more practitioners here, but sometime there are less than ten and most of the time there are just five practitioners carrying out the Falun Dafa related activity. As each practitioner has their own understanding of how to do things, conflicts often arise and provide us with opportunities to improve our states of mind.
Being in Buenos Aires helped me develop resistance and forbearance, break through the concept that “I am young and who would take seriously what a young girl has to say, only mature people are taken seriously”. Clarifying the truth to the media, journalists, policemen, lawyers and politicians was my test.
The biggest project, among many activities, was the preparation of the Spanish version of Da Ji Yuan, “La Gran Época” newspaper, or The Epoch Times. I got involved straight away as being able to speak fluent English and Spanish would be helpful to translate articles and the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.
I went to my town in the countryside and worked there from my computer. It was difficult for my parents to understand the purpose and the importance of what I was doing. Especially when they could see me waking up at 6:30 in the morning and sitting all day in front of the computer translating tirelessly. It was strange indeed. My father still does not comprehend it, and has concerns that we are getting political, I think that is a test for me to see how righteous and firm I am with the Fa. My mother has been a great support, quietly observing, reading the Fa, and protecting me from behind.
I started a practise site in my town with the help from a fellow practitioner, we visited the radio station and the Municipality to clarify the truth. This is a special and relaxing little town in the countryside, where lots of tourists from the capital cities come on holidays. I would have thought that to do this by my self in my town, with so many judging eyes from the people here, would be impossible. But with Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance guiding my voyage I have found strength and peace in my heart, that peace I so longed for, something so special.
I told my brother in England that it would be great if he could come to Argentina to help, as there where so many Falun Dafa activities to participate in! He didn’t add a lot of thought to it and was soon here. We formally presented Falun Dafa in my town with the help of the Municipality that offered a hall to us. Practitioners from Cordoba city and Buenos Aires came to support us. We prepared the presentation with so much care and spoke from our hearts. I constantly asked Master to help me as this was my first time that I would be presenting Falun Dafa in front of so many people, I really did not want to make a mistake and damage Falun Dafa´s image. Master guided me along the way and the presentation was a success, 60 people attended and they were very touched. Most of them took a copy of Falun Gong and Zhuan Falun. Many of the attendees where tourists from Buenos Aires. We left leaflets in most of the shops in town. I was touched to meet in a predestined lady in Buenos Aires that found a leaflet in a shop when she was on holidays; she now practises Falun Dafa in Buenos Aires. Tears fell from her eyes when she recalls how lucky she is to have found Dafa. We also visited other towns from the region, presented Dafa and talked with the media, soon many people knew about Dafa.
April and May were two intense months; we returned to Buenos Aires to help the practitioners there. There where many things going on. Argentina was chosen by the United Nations, among another five countries, to represent Security and Human Rights in Geneva 2005; such a great opportunity to clarify the truth about the Chinese Communist Parties (CCP´s) brutal persecution of Falun Gong. For three weeks we were steadfast in front of the Pink House, the President Palace, clarifying the truth to the government, the police, and all the thousands of people that passes by every day to go to work.
Going out to clarify the truth in this big city where corruption, poverty and unfairness is abundant has been a great challenge; only with a righteous heart, knowing that this is Dafa of the universe that can truly save people can one can brake through the concepts of society. Many people even respond angrily, claiming that there is enough unfairness in Argentina, never mind China. Of course, many others could listen with their hearts and are touched by our message of Truth, Compassion and Tolerance, “that is what we need” they’ll say. Some others, concerned about the commercial dealings Argentina is having with China, felt thankful as they could see more clearly who our government was dealing with. But others even thought that we where sent by the C.I.A.!
I did not comprehend before what communism really was, so I found it hard to talk to people about this subject. When the Nine Commentaries appeared it shocked me deeply, I could now see how the spectre of communism was in the minds of so many Argentineans, especially with people in their 50´s and 60´s who had been activists in the 60´s and 70´s. I also noticed how deeply rooted youngsters have the image of Communist Ché Guevara as a god or a hero of the revolution of freedom; that is how many are taught in school and society.
We showed Falun Dafa´s beauty via the five Falun Gong exercises and displayed banners and photographs showing the inhumane tortures the CCP was conducting to innocent Falun Dafa practitioners. We where there every day, from morning till evening under the baking sun. The atmosphere was very dense so much so that on many occasions we could sense the spectre of the CCP. Even the police were occasionally aggressive towards us and would force us to take down the photographs and banners; the order was coming from the presidency, and we believe it was manipulated by the Chinese Embassy. This was a test for our understanding, were we there protesting as ordinary human beings or were we there to save sentient beings? We found many shortcomings in our cultivation.
Practitioners from other provinces came to help and we were able to hold the torture exhibition; it was surprising the effect that it had on the passers by. People that for the first two weeks would ignore us and would not receive a leaflet were now gathering around us. Tourists from Korea, Taiwan and even some Chinese would approach us astonished and concerned. Many predestined people could now know about Falun Dafa, and soon the city new about Dafa and many would refer to us as the pacifists that gather every day opposite the President Palace. We sent many letters to the president to make him aware of the importance of his decision in Geneva. Although we know that the end of the persecution is not in their hands these are opportunities to help the president and the nation position themselves.
We had many tests and conflicts during those months that we shared among many practitioners. The concepts of time pressure, tiredness, different personalities and selfishness where challenging us. We have so much to cultivate.
We often visited the Chinese Embassy to send forth righteous thoughts and unfold a banner revealing the brutal tortures the CCP carries out on innocent Falun Gong practitioners. They would always call the police. On one occasion, after having asked two consecutive police vans to come and move us, claiming that we were provoking them, even the chief policemen had to come to meet us. When they found us to be so peaceful and in all our rights to be there they even felt like laughing at the Embassy and immediately understood how ridiculous their claims were and how greatly they fear us for simply revealing the truth. The policeman that works as a guard outside the Embassy everyday feels sympathy towards us as he can see how determined we are. Every time we went there he would be next to us to support us and chat to each practitioner asking them what inspires them to be so steadfast and how it was we came to practise Falun Dafa, he would feel so touched by each of our experiences. He has a great predestined relationship with Falun Dafa. Wile we were sending forth righteous thoughts he would be on one side reading the Falun Gong book, China Falun Gong!
Straight after Ginebra we participated with a Dafa stand for three weeks in the 31st Buenos Aires International Book Fare, the biggest in South America and third in the world. Such a great opportunity to clarify the truth to the hundreds of thousands of people that visit the fare: from students attending primary school to the President of Argentina. This book fare is enormous and elegant, and our Falun Dafa stand was presented beautifully. We were so glad of having the opportunity to formally present Falun Dafa to more people, to show its beauty and expose the evil crimes of the CCP. Many people where attracted because of the huge Falun (Law Wheel, the symbol of Falun Dafa) we put above our stand. Some kindly asked why we where promoting Nazism, whilst some even reacted angrily towards us and didn´t even want to listen. We explained the true meaning of the swastika to each one of them, and most of the people took home a copy of the history of the swastika. Hundreds of primary and secondary students were coming to our stand, sent by their teachers to ask for the meaning of swastika for their college work. Many others that had to present a project in college about the most interesting things they learnt in the book fair, chose Falun Dafa and interviewed us. As soon as they knew about the unfair persecution hundreds of students queued to sign the petition form, a group of young girls asked: “Are there people being killed because they are good and believe in god? I will immediately sign this petition”. We know now that Dafa has reached most of the schools of the country, and that they have chosen a great future for themselves.
Parallel to the book fare, the first edition of the Spanish Da Ji Yuan, La Gran Época, together with the first part of the supplement, The Nine Commentaries, was about to be published in Buenos Aires. It has been a great challenge for the four practitioners that edit the newspaper in Buenos Aires. We know how precious this newspaper is and how effective it is in reaching the attention of the general public. Upon being printed on the 21st of April, 2005, it was distributed in Buenos Aires. Before the end of the day only 3000 copies were left from the 10,000 copies printed. The reception was tremendous. The newspaper was distributed in the President Palace, the Foreign Ministry, the Senate, the Congress, the Legislature, the municipal government offices, universities and different big companies etc. In the evening, it was also handed out to the dignitaries during the inauguration of the International Book Fair on the same day. The Minister of Education, the mayor of Buenos Aires, the First Lady all received personally a copy. The First Lady, a senator and candidate for a political office, was seen reading La Gran Época on her way out.
At one big office building, it was planned to leave 300 copies, but they asked for 900 copies instead. Some were also distributed on the streets, and since the newspaper was distributed so quickly that the distribution had to be stopped. There is no way to supply this kind of demand with only 10,000 copies. Due to the overwhelming reception and also since the provinces of Argentina will need also the newspaper, more copies will have to be printed for the following editions.
The launching of La Gran Época in Spanish, with its supplement of the Nine Commentaries, brought the news of one million members rescinding from the Chinese Communist Party, a fact otherwise unknown, to the readers in this part of the world. A Chinese lady that has been living here for years received a copy in the street and wrote to us immediately expressing her happiness to have found somebody that finally reveals the truth. Many people now know about the persecution and the wickedness of the CCP and after the first publication we have received many letters from readers supporting the newspaper and asking where they can find it on a regular basis. The problem is that the amount of copies will have to be increased as 10,000 is too small for such demand. There is always the issue of the lack of funds and then trying to find people to help in the distribution and to sell ads. But it keeps on forging ahead. We have seen the miraculous effect this newspaper has. It seems as if suddenly everybody is talking about the wickedness of the CCP.
After all activities, on the 15th of May, two days after Falun Dafa day, we celebrated the second international Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference in Argentina. It was held in a province in north Argentina where there is a great interest in Falun Dafa and many cultivators are emerging. People from the northern provinces seem to have a purer and simpler mind and Dafa touches their heart instantly. They are somehow quite away of the big dye vat of the cities society; there are so many predestined people there. We have a lot to learn from them. A new practitioner that lived five hours away from the province the Falun Dafa Experience Sharing was to be held, hitchhiked tirelessly for a day and a half to come. She lives under very poor conditions and did not have a cent to put towards her travel, yet her heart for Dafa was first, she was so happy to meet us.
The Experience Sharing Conference was a unique opportunity where Falun Gong practitioners could meet and unify the group in Argentina. It was a great day and a celebration for Falun Dafa practitioners after months of intense work. Such moments when we are able to get together to study the Fa and share experiences are really precious.
The followings are my mere understandings and shortcomings we have encountered in our cultivation. Compassion and solidarity among us practitioners was sometimes lacking. Discipline and organisation are not part of our culture but I believe they are virtues we ought to cultivate. Some claim that the heart leads and that organisation comes second. In my understanding, the state of our minds and the state of our organisation are linked. In my understanding at this level, organisation helps us present Falun Dafa to people harmoniously, it helps harmonise the group and consider every practitioner’s situation first. Some times, if we take the time to calm our minds, study the Fa more, and plan neatly what should be done in every situation things unfold better. Instead of just rushing to the streets to clarify the truth, lacking a peaceful mind and righteous thoughts, leaving a gap for conflicts and interference. Of course, we should consider each and every situation. We are Falun Dafa practitioners, we have Dafa and our righteous thoughts that can reach every corner with enormous power. This is just one understanding with regards to the problems we encountered in Argentina.
There is also this strong concept about time, the amount of things we have to do and the lack of practitioners who can participate in them. Sometimes we even believe that we do not have time to study the Fa and end up failing to do a good job because our mind is not righteous. Sometimes, some of us would have the responsibility over quite a lot of Dafa work and when other activities arise that need the help from all practitioners, some selfish hearts emerge: “I am doing this and that, I can’t help you, I have no time, do it yourselves; I have other responsibilities” That is when we fail to let emerge our heart of compassion and solidarity. I believe that if we can break through our selfish hearts, our mind and heart becomes clear and pure, conflicts have no space and organisation comes naturally. If we always maintain a righteous heart for Dafa, and do the things quietly, for Dafa, not for our pride, Master will arrange everything, and there is no more concept of time. We should just focus on our hearts and do what has to be done.
Time is a concept of the old forces; for example, thinking that you need to sleep a certain amount of time. It is a common occurrence that when we wake up early in the morning to send forth righteous thoughts we could easily carry on with our activities without going back to sleep and we feel perfect. But when the concept of time comes to our minds that we should go back to sleep, that you need a bit more sleep, when you wake up after that nap you feel worse and more tired than before. It is a big trick. Some say that we should sleep less and strengthen our forbearance.
These days we have to change our life structure so as to be flexible. If one puts Dafa first everything else falls into place.
These are my limited understandings, and I hope they made some sense.
Of course, these months have been a great opportunity for cultivators in Argentina. We are learning to discipline ourselves, work as one body, as an instrument in Dafa´s great concert. There is great enthusiasm here and cultivators with a heart for Dafa.
Everyday I thank Master for His great compassion for having found us and arranged our cultivation. I can now see the predestined relationship my brother and I have, and how Master arranged for us to come back to Argentina and help so many sentient beings to find the Fa that they have been waiting for for so long. This is a true honour and the most precious thing in my life.
I´d like to share with you this poem from Master
And assist Master as he
journeys this human world
Come now, and help me turn the Falun
When the Fa is fulfilled,
Heaven and Earth will be yours to travel.
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